Outline the major contextual changes that have impacted upon the management of people in the last 30 years? Essay

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Outline the major contextual changes that have impacted upon the management of people in the last 30 years? What are the implications of these changes on a) employees and b) the management of employees?

There are lots of changes that have occurred in the management of people in the last 30 years in United Kingdom. Many companies find themselves operating in very different market conditions from those prevailing two decades ago as a result of far reaching political and economic changes. There are extreme levels of competition in the private sector that have also been mirrored by greater financial stringency in the public services sector, as the state has sought to commercialise, and in many cases privatise, public sector organisations.
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She managed to destroy the power of the trade unions for almost a generation. Her economic policies helped weaken the unions. The recession of the early 1980s saw manufacturing, the main area of union strength shrink by half while unemployment soared to over three million. Union membership plummeted from a peak of 12 million in the late 70s to almost half that by the late 80s’.Rogers (2012) also explained that the unions were a major force in 1970s Britain, with around one in four of the UK population a member - 13.2m people. Those numbers went down significantly by 1990 to 9.8m - and in 2008/9 to 7.4m or one in eight of the population.

The unions went into steep decline, having seen the lengths to which the state was prepared to go to vanquish them. They lost their power, influence, millions of members and a large swathe of their rights. He explained how most trade unions loathed Margaret Thatcher but she remained utterly convinced of the need to cure the nation of what had become known as the "British disease", strike fever(Willenius, 2004).
Many employers, and certainly the Thatcher and Major governments of the 1980s and 1990s, argued that United Kingdom firms were uncompetitive in the 1970s because they were enveloped in both external and internal labour market rigidities. Consequently, ‘rigidities’ in both markets – especially those ‘imposed by’ or ‘attributed to’ trade unions – were a prime target for Conservative government